"So, I'm supposed to keep my torso and shoulders down the hill, right?" Well, sort of.
In general, as skiers are transitioning from beginners to advanced skiers, general recommendations work great. "Keep your shoulders down the hill." "Don't swing your butt with your turns" (example of bad advice-telling someone what not to do does not tell them what to do). "There's a beam of light coming out of your butt-shine it up the trail" (always a favorite).
When someone starts flirting with advanced to expert skiing, a bit more precision is necessary. It is time to introduce "the box."
Take your poles as you stand there with your skis on, and draw half of a rectangle starting a foot in front of the tips of your skis and then parallel to your skis. You are now looking at "the box."
As you edge and pressure your skis through each turn, keep your pants zipper, belly button, coat zipper and eyes pointed at the corner of the box on the outside of the turn. Note that you are not simply pointing downhill-you are moving with your skis and downhill of your tips.
Now the cool part...
When you release the old turn, moving across your skis and into your boot cuffs to start the new turn, powerfully re-direct your pants zipper, belly button, and coat zipper towards the new outside corner of the box. The earlier you can pressure your new edges, while moving to the appropriate corner of the box for the new turn, the earlier your skis can start carving a great turn.
Repeat as necessary. Advanced and expert skiing requires a high level of precision. "The box" will help you bring the precision to your skiing.
Remember, best advice of all, take a lesson or attend a race clinic. You'll have a great time and improve your time.
John Macdonald is a Level III Certified PSIA Instructor and is a Race Team Coach at King Pine Ski Area. You can email questions to John at email@example.com.